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Debunking Common Immunity Myths: What You Need to Know

February 13, 2021

Like us, you must have encountered common immunity myths at one time or another.

In this article, our friends from take a look at some common immunity myths (and truths) – do any of them sound familiar?

How Does the Immune System Work?

Being healthy is a top priority in our lives right now…and almost everyone’s best friend is their immune system.

The immune system is a complex system of cells and molecules that protects our bodies from outside invaders like infections, bacteria, and viruses, called antigens.

These antigens attach themselves to receptors on immune cells, which then triggers the immune system response.

Then, the immune system stores the antigens’ DNA and makeup before creating, distributing, and storing white blood cells that fight these bacteria and viruses. 

Innate vs Adaptive Immune System

The immune system is actually made up of two subdivisions: the innate and adaptive immune systems.

The innate system is more general. It provides a non-specific defence against germs and outside bacteria that enter through the skin or digestion.

The adaptive immune system is more specific.

It creates antibodies to fight specific germs and viruses that enter the body.

This is the immune system that stores the DNA information of certain antigens to create specific antibodies to fight them off. 

Separating Truths from Immunity Myths

This past year, we’ve been bombarded with quick fixes that claim to boost your immunity to the moon and back.

There are a lot of tales going around on how to help boost your immune system. So, let’s take a dive into some common immunity myths.

1 – Exercise weakens the immune system

Truth: Exercise lowers blood pressure, helps keep body weight under control, and can protect you from diseases. It does this by lowering the levels of hormonal cortisol in your body. Therefore, exercising actually boosts your immune system. 

2 – A hyperactive immune system is healthy

Truth: A hyperactive immune system is related to many different conditions like allergic reactions and underlying diseases such as diabetes and lupus.

3 – Stress doesn’t affect your immune system

Truth: Stress produces a hormone called cortisol, which changes the way your white blood cells react to the viruses and bacteria that enter the body. Therefore, stress reduces the body’s ability to fight off diseases.

4 – Vinegar or Saltwater kills viruses

Truth: Gargling salt water, vinegar, or other mixtures won’t kill anything, but it may soothe a sore throat. 

5 – A good immune system will prevent sickness from birth

Truth: Besides the fact that the immune system, unfortunately, weakens with age, there is no certainty that you won’t get sick.

Facts about boosting your immunity

So, all in all, there are a lot of immunity myths floating around on the internet, but there are ways that never fail to boost your immune system:

Strong immunity is built through balanced, healthful decisions.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your immune system.

Taking care of your immune system takes time. Self-care isn’t just about the skin anymore. The inside of your body needs some love too.

Immunity Myths at a Glance

Myths and Facts About Immune System
OneExercise has no effect and may even weaken the immune system
TwoThe more active your immune system is, the healthy you are.
ThreeStress doesn’t impact the immune system
FourGargling salt water or vinegar will kill viruses
FiveBeing born with a good immune system will prevent you from getting sick

What other immunity myths and facts about the immune system have you heard recently? Let us know what’s popular in your part of the world by sharing in the comments section below.

This article was originally published at

More Reading:

Editing by AskAwayHealth Team


All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising  Medical Practitioners on a wide range of healthcare conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality healthcare. 

The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified healthcare practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly

Image Credits: Canva

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